As most pro-lifers know, the pro-abortion movement has used words like “safety” and “choice” to define their position for quite some time. Pro-abortion advocates nearly always describe themselves as “pro-choice”; this phrase is designed to take the listener’s focus away from the grisly reality of the abortion “choice.” In past years, pro-abortion advocates often stated that they believed abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.” This formulation was almost certainly dishonest, as the political Left in the United States adamantly opposes laws that would decrease abortion or protect women and children from its horrifying consequences.
Now, at least one New York lawmaker is using the rhetoric of “safety” and “choice” to justify her advocacy for physician-assisted suicide. Unfortunately, that rhetoric is just as cynical and dishonest when used in the assisted-suicide context as it is when used in the abortion context.
Last week, physician-assisted suicide advocates appeared at the New York State Capitol in an attempt to persuade lawmakers to support their cause. This time, the advocates brought misguided members of the “clergy” with them to “[counter] the opposition to [physician-assisted suicide] from the Catholic Church and evangelical groups…” At the gathering, Sen. Diane Savino (IDC-Staten Island), the leading sponsor of New York’s assisted-suicide bill, made the following comments: “‘Aid in Dying is not something everyone would choose, but it’s a choice everyone should have, no matter how or where you worship. I’m a Catholic, and my faith is important to me, but allowing patients, their families and doctors to discuss a safe and compassionate way to end their suffering is important to me and millions of New Yorkers.’”
In addition to using the words “choose” and “choice” in her remarks, Sen. Savino described physician-assisted suicide as “safe.” This description is nothing short of bizarre. Lethal drugs are certainly not “safe” for those who take them. If a terminally-ill person requests such drugs and then opts not to use them, those drugs are not “safe” in a household environment (particularly in a household with children). If a patient’s insurer refuses to cover expensive treatment but offers to cover lethal drugs, that patient is most certainly not “safe.”
Sen. Savino is deeply mistaken, and her bill is dangerous and misguided. The truth is this: There is nothing “safe” about physician-assisted suicide. Terminally-ill New Yorkers deserve aid in living, not aid in dying.